There are two different kinds of abortion: one is induced by a pill (medical abortion) and one requires a procedure at a clinic (a surgical abortion).

Each one carries its own set of short and long-term side effects and should be considered carefully before ending the pregnancy. 

How Medical Abortion Works

Medical abortions only occur within the first ten weeks of the pregnancy. 

It’s recommended to visit a medical professional for both a pregnancy test and an ultrasound before proceeding with a medical abortion. 

Even if you’ve taken a home pregnancy test, you still want to make sure it’s not a false positive and determine whether or not it’s an ectopic pregnancy (located outside of the uterus).

The abortion pill requires first taking mifepristone, which stops the pregnancy from progressing by acting as an antiprogesterone. 

The second pill, misoprostol, forces you to cramp and bleed. This forces the uterus to contract to expel the pregnancy and uterine lining. 

Medical Abortion Risks

The Mayo Clinic has a list of associated risks and side effects which include, but are not limited to, fever, an incomplete abortion (which would require surgical intervention), heavy bleeding, and digestive discomfort.

How Surgical Abortion Works 

The method of surgical abortion varies based on the progression of the pregnancy. 

If you are fewer than 12 weeks into your pregnancy, then your cervix is widened and a tube is inserted into your uterus. 

The fetus is then removed with suction and your uterus is cleaned out with a thin metal tool called a curette.

If you are farther along than 12 weeks (the first trimester), the dilation and suction process is similar, but your cervix requires more softening and preparation.

Surgical Abortion Risks

Potential risks associated with surgical abortions include, but are not limited to, injury to the uterus or cervix which can affect later fertility (if the cervix is damaged), infection, and several others.

Are There Other Options?

Each woman has to take control of her reproductive future for herself, but unplanned pregnancies are never easy. That’s why it’s important you have a sound support system to help walk you through the different options in a pressure-free environment. 

Schedule a no-cost pregnancy test today as well as learn about different resources and options available to you.